ghee; butter; lindsey mueller; the 30 clean

Eating FAT does NOT make you FAT. This statement seems a little contradictory. However, multiple studies have shown that dietary fat is a critical component of not only optimal weight, but also overall health[i][ii][iii].  Here’s a quick video clip that does a great job of explaining this concept. “Healthy” fat is critical in protecting your heart, decreasing inflammation, increasing blood circulation, improving skin health, absorbing the fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E, K), creating hormones, and a list of other goodies.  Our brains are 70% fat and each of our cells membranes are made of fat. The issue lies in distinguishing unhealthy fats versus healthy fats.

UNHEALTHY FATS: All “industrial seed oils” and trans fats should be avoided. These include safflower oil, sunflower oil, corn oil, canola oil, cottonseed oil, wheat germ oil, peanut oil, and soybean oil. All are high in omega-6 fats which are extremely pro-inflammatory.

HEALTHY FATS: Increase your consumption of healthy fats which include saturated fats (i.e. coconut oil, ghee, butter, palm oil, lard, beef tallow, duck fat), omega-3 fatty acids (i.e. flaxseed oil, fish oil, cod liver oil), or monounsaturated fats (i.e. macadamia oil, olive oil, olives, avocado).

When cooking, it is important to choose fats based on their smoke point (see below). The smoke point is the temperature at which the flavor and nutritional integrity of the fat or oil begins to break down. Oils that have been heated above their smoke point become quickly oxidized and can be damaging to the cells. For higher heat cooking, choose fats with the highest smoke points, such as ghee, palm oil, coconut oil, macadamia oil, or beef tallow. Flaxseed oil, butter, and olive oil have relatively low smoke points and are best for non-cooking uses (for example, putting them on previously prepared foods like steamed veggies, on salads or in shakes).

FAT

Degrees Fahrenheit

Ghee

485

Palm Oil

455

Coconut Oil

450

Macadamia oil

413

Beef Tallow

400

Duck Fat

375

Lard

370

Olive Oil

320

Butter

250-300

Flaxseed Oil

225

[1] Holmberg S, Thelin A. High dairy fat intake related to less central obesity: a male cohort study with 12 years’ follow-up. Scand J Prim Health Care. 2013;31(2):89-94.
[1] Rajpathak SN, Rimm EB, Rosner B, Willett WC, Hu FB. Calcium and dairy intakes in relation to long-term weight gain in US men. Am J Clin Nutr. 2006;83(3):559-66.
[1] Available at: http://informahealthcare.com/doi/abs/10.3109/09637486.2013.836741. Accessed February 28, 2014.
About the author:

Lindsey Mueller, BSBA, CCN is a clinical nutritionist living in San Diego. You may find out more about her and her services by visiting her at eat-ology.

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